by Michael Stevenson

1. Nineteen Years Young
	I recently gave testimony of some of the early
months of my new life in Christ, from the time at which I
was born-again up to the time I received the Baptism of the
Holy Ghost, about four months later.  Here is one event
that I left out- that features an ice cream truck, which
had a real impact on my life. I often leave this experience
out of public testimony (for what will become obvious
reasons) but have been wanting to share it.  While it is
convenient at times to neglect to testify about the less
honorable events of our lives, they do reflect all of the
grace God has given to us.  Here is one of mine.
	I was born again at the age of nineteen years. Back
when I was fifteen years young, my wonderful father bought
me a Harley-Davidson "Sprint" 350cc motorcycle, which I
"rode like the wind" for several years-- up to, including
and after the time when I got saved. And though Christ did
enter my life, giving me a bold testimony of His grace, I
was still only nineteen and in one sense had the same
amount of daring as others, saved or unsaved.

2. Evel Knievel
	This time period coincided with the height of the
career of one "Evel Knievel" (a.k.a. Robert Craig Knievel)
of Butte, Montana who some consider the king of motorcycle
stunt riding. And just like everyone who played chess
during that era knew the name of Bobby Fischer, people who
rode motorcycles knew the name of Evel Knievel. We watched
in awe, the film of his famous 1968 motorcycle jump
(flight?) through the air and over the water fountains at
Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada. In like awe we saw
him land *short of the ramp, producing one of the most
catastrophic crashes possible, short of one that would
cause death. His motorcycle now sits on exhibit in the
Museum of American History of the Smithsonian Institute.

3. Derrick Lawrence
	Derrick Lawrence, an elementary school friend of
mine and now teenaged companion and fellow bike rider, was
the first the pick up on the career of Evel Knievel and
induced that atmosphere into the few of us who rode bikes
together.  We made small jumps at a particularly good spot
in a local park, and just did the wild things that kids do.
Derrick wasn't much different that Knievel in spirit,
himself crashing on several occasions, being struck by a
car broadside, with a cut-off boot and smashed helmet as a
trophy from that accident. We were glad he had survived.

	One day, Derrick raised the concept of *our stunt
riding in the aspect of standing on the seat of our
motorcycles while riding with our hands still on the
handlebars (we weren't *that crazy)!  After talking about
it for a season, sure enough-- someone was the first to try
it, and others followed. At some point, I also took
"one small step" for a rider up onto the seat with one
foot, and then momentarily with the other, until I could
stand balanced and ride at say-- 25 miles per hour down a
street. (Please don't try this at home).

4. Route 309
	Route 309 is a scenic, two-lane, highway experience
that extends out of the Cheltenham area of Philadelphia
County in Pennsylvania up through Bucks and Montgomery
Counties towards Allentown, the stomping grounds of "The
Pianoman" Billy Joel.  We who lived in Germantown enjoyed
the experience of exploring 309, and some of the young
people used it as a drag strip. (Yes, this is probably one
of the worst acts teenagers can do.) I warmed that highway
up several times, myself in my younger years.

	One day, during a joint motorcycle ride out on
"309" featuring myself on my Sprint with Tyrone (another
friend) riding on the back, and Derrick Lawrence on his
Honda, the temptation to try out the stand-up maneuver
struck home! As we rode side-by-side someone suggested we
try it, and both of us did, this time at a minimum of sixty
miles per hours.  It should be understood that double the
risk took place on my bike, in that I had a passenger on
the rear. But I rose to the occasion, and was riding
southbound down the highway standing on the seat in all
"joy". The location was approaching the Sumneytown Pike/
Norristown Road exit just north of Ambler, Pa.

	However, during my maneuver--  what did I notice
travelling northbound on the other side of the road?  It
was a Pennsylvania State Trooper with a killer look on his
face, and his hand on his turn signal lever, changing lanes
for an emergency exit and re-entrance at the next available
on-ramp, only about three-quarters of a mile away!  He was
coming to get me, I knew it, and I didn't like the
expression on his face that I had seen from the elevated
height of standing on my motorcycle seat, right in front of
him! Simultaneously, he hit his throttle, and I hit mine.
He was racing for a capture/kill, I was racing away for my

	Travelling at unknown speeds (with my passenger,
Tyrone affixed to the rear- in terror) I saw that I was
approaching the Sumneytown Pike/Norristown Road exit and
decelerated my bike in my emergency exit (escape) attempt.
I slowed down progressively as I approached the end of the
ramp, finally coming to a full stop, then turning and
shouting to Tyrone, "Get off"!  But rather calmly, Tyrone
leaned into me and said, "Get off? What are you talking
about? Realizing now, that Tyrone was not getting off the
bike and that I had just lost about twenty seconds of my
escape time, I turned right and accelerated onto Sumneytown
Pike heading northwest at full speed, not really knowing
what happened to Derrick. I was "on-the-run" in a scene
straight out of the Fox television series "COPS", many
years before its arrival or the availability of so many

5. Into A Trap!
	My plan was to take the first left, and flee into
oblivion away from the pursuing Pennsylvania State Trooper.
When I saw the approaching Wellington Drive appearing on my
left, I made a decision to turn left there, then another
immediate left onto Bangor Lane in an evasive maneuver.  I
should have continued straight, because Bangor Lane led to
a dead end cul-de-sac.  A cul-de-sac (for anyone who does
not know... I didn't until I bought my home), is the
"circle" at the end of a residential street, usually with
about four homes placed on it.  When I saw the dead end, my
heart sank into despair.  I knew I was "dead" and in a
trap, with an angry State Trooper in pursuit after me.

	There was nothing to do at the cul-de-sac except to
come to a complete halt. Tyrone and I must have looked like
Dorothy and Toto in the outskirts of OZ, as we were in
sharp contrast to this conservative residential community.
I mean-- I had longer hair, was riding a motorcycle, wore
jeans, boots, etc, as compaired to a "Donna Reed" class
environment.  We were indeed trapped like rats.  My next
decision was to "go for broke" and casually park my
motorcycle in the driveway of one of the homes (I simply
picked one), that was out of sight in general from the main
road.  I did so, (under the view of the next-door neighbor...
a man in his seventies) who informed me that the residents
were not home.  What else to do but to mill about the
circle-- trapped.  Young children on their bikes observed
us.  We smiled at them as much as a smile was possible in
that circumstance.

6. An Ice Cream Truck
	Then the thought came to us to pray!  Yes, to pray
and to ask Jesus to save us.  It is at this point that you,
the reader, will decide if Tyrone and I were worthy of a
response to our prayer.  However, we who had done wrong,
still wanted to be saved out of this situation and very
much so!  We sincerely wanted Jesus to rescue us.  No time
for the solemn prayers like, "We who humbly stand before
you, know that you have said in your word..." and then
continue on to quote God's own word back to Him. No, it
was more like, "Jesus, we know we did wrong, but please,
please save us!"

	Moments passed that seemed like forty minutes.
Suddenly, an event occurs, as both Tyrone and I saw an ice
cream truck coming down the street towards the cul-de-sac
we stood in with its child like music playing.  A rather
sweet scene it was in the face of so much terror.  It
rolled toward us, further towards us, finally entering the
circle, and coming around to the far side of the circle
where it finally came to a rest with its music still

	Well, when you are under pursuit by the State
Police, what better thing to do but to have an ice cream
bar?  We walked over and took our places in line to make a
purchase.  Several of the children gave way to we strangers
in bewilderment. Suddenly, and with increased terror,
through the window of the ice cream truck we saw a State
Trooper's vehicle coming down the street, violently jerking
the car into each driveway on the street, and then lurching
it back out into the street once again. Tyrone and I turned
to look at each other, in that mutually shared moment two
people facing an imminent death experience.  We had done
all we could do, and this was the end of the line.  The
patrol vehicle jerked out of driveways much closer to us
now, as he approached the cul-de-sac.

	We turned our eyes back to face him (through the
glass of the ice cream truck) as he entered the circle...
a strange calmness or stillness overtook me in this moment
before "death". And then Tyrone and I both watched as the
State Trooper made a simple circle of the cul-de-sac,
skipping a search of the driveways on it, and swinging
around to head back out of the cul-de-sac and residential
area.  Again, my eyes and the eyes of my rider met, this
time wide open as never before!  No words between us could
describe the sudden turn of events that had delivered us
both from the clutches of a most probably arrest and doom!

	After a short while, we saddled the motorcycle once
again, and leaving (via a country stream bed at the rear of
the cul-de-sac), left the would be trap towards the freedom
of one of the main roads back to Philadelphia. I often have
thought of the dramatic incident that happened that day
back in time, thinking of the prayer we had raised to Jesus
Christ to save us, (I have more time to do so now, as both
my motorcycle riding career along with stunt riding have
been discontinued), and the timely arrival of an obscure
ice cream truck-- seemingly from nowhere, but not to me. I
knew that Jesus in all His mercy, and in all His authority,
had sent that truck to save us.

Thank you, Lord and King.  Yeshua is Lord.



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 Web Author:Michael Stevenson Updated: 12/16/2004 7:11PM